Owning Up: The Trilogy by George Melly

By George Melly

This unmarried quantity contains 3 well-known memoirs - Scouse Mouse, Rum, Bum & Concertina and possessing Up, with a brand new advent through the writer. Scouse Mouse is a humorous and often touching tale of the author's Thirties early life in a middle-class Liverpudlian loved ones. Rum, Bum & Concertina, the naval identical of wine, girls and track, describes Melly's nationwide carrier as essentially the most not going naval rankings ever. He turns into an anarchist and gourmet of Surrealist paintings whereas self-educating himself on a few of the wilder seashores of affection. as soon as demobbed, Melly involves London to paintings in an paintings gallery, and in possessing Up he describes how he slipped into the area of the jazz revival, revelling in an unending around of pubs, golf equipment, seedy guest-houses and shipping caffs whereas surrounded through a mad array of musicians, brownies, drunks and arch-eccentrics.

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Here he was his own boss but, although well liked, he never displayed much enthusiasm for business. He told me once that he would have chosen to manage a country estate but that the family wouldn’t hear of it. Burdened by expectations – he was to inherit a considerable fortune from his mother only a few years before his own early death in 1961 – he did what was expected of him. His last words to me were: ‘Always do what you want to. ’ * I was in Liverpool recently, singing for two nights at Kirklands, originally an elegant nineteenth-century bakery, now a wine bar with a music room above it.

My mother told this as a kind of joke at her mother’s expense, but I believe it had upset her profoundly. She also maintained she wouldn’t have liked acting anyway as she had too jealous and envious a temperament, but I didn’t believe her, even then. When my father came home from The Albert, he and my mother would go up and change for dinner and Bella took me away to be given Horlicks and ginger biscuits and got ready for bed. My parents always came in to hear my prayers and kiss me goodnight, and I fell asleep thinking of the dying boy with flowers and the drowning Briar Rose and the American colonel spitting in the fire.

At the beginning of the sixties, regularly employed inventing the plots and dialogue for Wally ‘Trog’ Fawkes’ strip cartoon ‘Flook’ in the Daily Mail, and fulfilling other commissions including a lot of work for the BBC, I decided to leave the jazz life and see if I could earn a living through my pen. This decision more or less coincided with my taking up with my second and indeed current wife Diana, preceding this by only a week or two but somehow proving the certainty of chance. As an envoy to the band wagon I had contributed to Vogue an article describing ‘A Weekend in the Jazz World’ and asked Di if she thought it might expand into a book.

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